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Opinion: Economy important

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IN an election campaign, we hear a lot about the economy, not because the economy is more important than people but because a strong economy is what allows us to build and support our society.
The wellbeing of Australians is at the core of everything a good government does; creating a strong economy with which to our fund health services, educational facilities, national security and infrastructure, whilst stimulating jobs growth.
We are all intrinsically linked to the state of our economy.
Whenever I walk along the riverfront in Mildura, I get some personal satisfaction in knowing that the government of which I have been a part, has played a role in improving the area, attracting more visitors to the beautiful Murray River.
Likewise, when I attend the Heartbeat of the Murray Laser Light Show in Swan Hill and see the joy it is bringing to people and the new pride the people of Swan Hill have for their town, it feels good to know I am part of the team that made that happen.
When politicians have conversations with the people they represent, they have an opportunity to learn new things and from there, be part of real change.
Nothing has demonstrated this more to me than conversations I had in Horsham, soon after becoming the Member for Mallee, through which I became aware of the dire need for a new oncology wing at the Horsham Base Hospital.
Armed with newly acquired knowledge and supported by the passion of the Horsham community, I fought hard to secure the first allocation of public funding, to bring the oncology wing from an idea, to a reality.
On another occasion, a conversation with the former Mayor of Swan Hill Mike Adamson inspired the push from my office, for Safe Haven Enterprise Visas, which will allow refugees on Bridging Visas, a chance for permanent residency, if they work in regional Australia.
Just like the oncology wing and visas, my vocal campaigns to secure Australia wide intervention orders to protect victims of family violence and subsidies for Continuous Glucose Monitoring devices for children under 21 with Type One diabetes, both came from conversations I’ve had with people who have had the courage to share their stories with me.
I have been humbled and inspired by the people of the Wimmera and Mallee who approach challenges with dignified strength and seek practical, sensible solutions.
Conversations lead to the sharing of ideas and I then give those ideas a voice in Canberra.
The progress we’re making is real and is definitely a team effort.  It starts with us.
Andrew Broad
Federal Member for Mallee